2016 May 11: It’s the little things…

Last night, my wife decided to come help. The neighbors really want to meet her. Arthur had a dentist appointment, so I had to wait for him, and then took him out to the property. I had a tree that I cut down at the neighbor’s house the day before ready to skid back to the property, so I loaded up the tractor to go down the street and get it. I showed him how to drive the tractor- and pointed out that it had manual steering. I’m not sure he understood what “manual steering” meant. He went along fine while we were going straight, but then we had to turn out onto the road- he turned ok, but then let go of the steering wheel- not realizing that with a tractor and manual steering, it will pretty much just keep turning until you stop it. We had two tires almost in the ditch before I could strong arm it back on the road. Manual steering is just one of the little things…

I also didn’t think I would be going, so I forgot to pack my new three ton chain hoist, but I had two tractor jacks, so I should be able to lift the log almost 48 inches off the ground- high enough to clear the lip of the trailer, right?

The tractor jacks, however, have no good attachment point- the chain or strap can slip off the front if the weight is pulling more to the side (such as towards the side of the log). After trying several ways to attach the strap, it finally held long enough to get the log up in the air, but since the log was in a ditch, the jacks maxed out with about an inch to spare on the lip of the trailer, which wasn’t enough to clear the lip. Just a little thing, right?

20160510_181840[1]I said, “forget it, let’s just drive”, and hooked up the tractor and started dragging. The trailer is only 10 feet too long at this point, right? Just a little thing…It went well for a while, even though one tire on the trailer was a little low on air.

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I tried to swing it wide for the right turn, but I swung a little too wide, and the trailer went into a little ditch – about twelve inches deep. ‘No big deal’, I thought, ‘I’ll just turn and it will come out of the ditch.’ Except it didn’t, and the angle of the trailer caused the strap to slip, which caused the log to shift, which caused the trailer to shift some more, and now it was locking itself up around the “No Outlet” street sign on the side of the road. And the other tire was now flat. Just a little thing…

I thought maybe I could pull the log back away from the sign and the ditch, so I hooked up to the trailer…

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pulled….

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…and the trailer came along, but the log was too tired to move.

I stopped, unhooked, backed up to the log, set the jack on one side, tractor on the other, and chain in the middle. This time, the depth of the ditch wasn’t as deep where I hooked up the tractor, so when I lifted, the big end easily cleared the lip of the trailer.I strapped it down again, and looked up to see one of the neighbors come out of his log cabin (that he built in the 1980’s- more on this later) with a four ton come-along. He asked if I thought it would help- sure, let’s use it. Just a little thing…

But now with two flat tires, the trailer decided to pull at an angle- which meant that while I’m driving down the right edge of the road, the trailer and log are driving down the left side of the road- missing several mailboxes by inches. I pulled into the driveway, knowing the trailer wouldn’t make the turn and end up in a ditch (so I let it), stopped, unhooked the trailer (that was now in the ditch), and tried to pull on the log. The heavy end decided, with ten feet hanging into the ditch, that it wasn’t going anywhere. Unhook the tractor, hook up heavy end, pull out of ditch, hook back up light end, lift, and pull.

The log was barely moving, but it was moving, so I found out that gunning it in 4th gear was the git-r-dun I needed.

Just a bunch of little things- little annoyances that end up being big problems, but it seems like there are just barely enough little helps – like the neighbor’s come-along- to overcome them. Log #13 is in the bag.

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brianhill

Just a regular guy from Utah, now living in Alabama, involved in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

2 thoughts on “2016 May 11: It’s the little things…”

  1. What an amazing story. Thank you for your support and kind words. You remind me of my grandfather. I should write a story about him- WWII veteran, paratrooper and a medic, ended up in the printing business.

    Like

  2. I have just finished all your postings to date on this blog. It is an interesting story and well done. I hope you will continue it through the actual construction of your home.
    When I was 4-5 years old (1932-33) I shoveled creek gravel through a screen for chinking in a log cabin my grandpa was building close to Mudlick, Ohio. Later when I was in the 7th grade, we moved to the house on the hill above this cabin, where my grandpa & grandma had been living and grandpa moved down to the cabin. Later in life, around 1969-70 I made a handshake deal with the current owner and lived in my grandpas cabin for a year, then moved to north Georgia.

    I always wanted to build a cabin, but circumstances, money and time always got in the way and now I can no longer lift the short end of a stick let alone a log of any size.

    I am glad to hear your story and hope you and your wife are well; you have done good.

    Best wishes to you and yours. Mel & Dale – Flowery Branch, Ga

    Liked by 1 person

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